The community sector on strike!


For 27 years, Santropol Roulant has worked to improve food security and foster social inclusion for members of its company in Montreal. This work is possible thanks to the financial support of multiple partners, including generous donors and members of the Roulant community, but also through funding from different levels of government. While the needs for services offered by the community sector have eploded since the start of the pandemic, provincial government funding has not increased proportionately. This jeopardizes the survival of some community organizations that are essential to Quebec society.

The majority of community organizations cannot count on a community as sustainable and united as that of the Roulant. Many of them are struggling to find financial resources for their day-to-day operations.

From February 21st to 24th, a week of action and community mobilization has taken place to highlight the need for an increase of government funding for the community sector. In this context, we want to highlight the value of the work we do every day at the Roulant.

We would like to share with you a testimony from Georgette, one of our clients and urban agriculture volunteer.

Testimony from Georgette

” Community organizations serve to fill the large gap left by an healthc and social services system. This has been made even more evident during the pandemic.

Sometimes, it’s big things like providing food or essential items. Sometimes it’s little things, that are nonetheless very important to their beneficiaries: like purchasing second-hand stuff, or being accompanied to appointments or social visits.

In addition, because these organizations are small, they are more agile in meeting new or changing needs over time.

Because they are in close proximity to the community, unlike our somewhat behemoth system where individuals are just numbers, they can also address people’s needs direclty.

For example, everybody knows that it is important to eat well to be (more) healthy… and happy!

But to eat well, you must first:

  1. shop – which is often difficult, especially for those with limited mobility (assuming the person has the budget to do so)
  2. transport the groceries back home – even more difficult at times (deliveries are expensive and not always convenient: minimum order and delivery time, etc.)
  3. prepare the ingredients – sometimes difficult
  4. cook them up: from difficult to impossible depending on physical and other issues…
  5. clean up – often impossible

This is where meals-on-wheel organizations like Santropol Roulant can step in and help at least partially by providing good meals to people who need them and cannot easily prepare them themselves.

They also fill a community need (hence their name) and a social need by talking to and directly interacting with epople who are often alone in our modern world. And yet, community organizations are often left out or forgotten when our governments deal with difficult situations.”